Gun store owners in Port Allen and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, claim to have lost approximately $70,000 in Christmas sales due to the inaccessibility of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
WBRZ reports that “the FBI acknowledged an issue occurred on its NICS website” but gun store owners throughout Louisiana say the background check system “crashes every year” around Christmastime.
Scott Roe owns Spillway Sportsman in Port Allen and he said the NICS system “shut down completely, nothing worked.”
Baton Rouge firearm dealer Jim McClain added, “The online system went down, and then their phone system went down.” He observed, “When the government can effectively shut you down, it’s scary.”
In January 2016 Breitbart News reported that the FBI “temporarily” halted the appeals process for those who had been denied a gun purchase via the NICS system. USA Today reported that FBI Assistant Director Stephen Morris said the halt in processing appeals became necessary because the number of Americans buying guns has overwhelmed FBI background check examiners.
But Roe and McClain have trouble accepting such an explanation for the Christmastime NICS crash. After all, the system worked fine on Black Friday 2017, when more background checks were performed in a single day than in any day in history.
Black Friday 2017 witnessed 203,086 background checks for gun purchases.